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Anderson Sets Record Pace In Baytown

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 21 2018

Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson is gunning for a third-straight pole this weekend.


Pro Stock ace Greg Anderson became an instant fan of Royal Purple Raceway’s recently repaved surface Friday, when he re-set both ends of the track’s records during the opening day of time trials for the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals.

Anderson, of Ken Black Racing, covered the traditional quarter-mile in 6.492-seconds at 213.00 mph during his first-round pass to claim provisional pole. A four-time world champion, Anderson is halfway to his third consecutive and 96th career No. 1 qualifying position after earning consecutive poles at Gainesville Raceway in Florida and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“You don’t get conditions like this but maybe once or twice every year, if you’re lucky,” said Anderson, who qualified on-pole in 2004 and 2016 at the Houston-area facility. “It just puts a smile on your face, and you lick your chops. We don’t have a supercharger where we can influence the air and speed up the blower if we have bad conditions outside. We’re just dependent on what Mother Nature gives us. These are the conditions that Pro Stock racers love.”
Anderson’s first-round pass in the red Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS also was the ninth-quickest since electronic fuel injection was mandated by the sanctioning body in place of carburetors at the beginning of the 2016 season.

“This was a great day for me, and I’ve got a Bracket car out there,” said Anderson, who clocked a best-of-round 6.495-second/212.29 mph pass during the second session. “I’m really happy about it. If the forecast (for Saturday) holds off and the rain doesn’t come, it’s going to be cool conditions again and you won’t see a lot of sun _ if any.

“This deal is not over, the top spot is not secure, but the bottom line is that we’ve got a great car. It’s like money in the bank. Now we don’t go up there conservative. You can go for broke, you go up there and try to run faster because you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Five-time world champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. is in the second spot with a 6.504-second pass at 212.36 mph in his Camaro SS.

Meanwhile, Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) also claimed provisional poles under the lights at the fifth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA schedule.

Force leads Top Fuel with a 1,000-foot run in 3.701-seconds at 313.80 mph in her Monster Energy dragster posted during the second session. The reigning Top Fuel world champion is seeking her first pole of 2018 in a new car after crashing out of the season-opening Wnternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., in February.

“It’s been a whirlwind season,” said Force, of John Force Racing. “We pulled out a brand-new car in Pomona and that was my team’s dream car. We loved it and, unfortunately, we wrecked it. We’ve been running our 2017 race car the last few races while we built this dragster. We got it together and I spent the last week in Indy getting fitted for it. Qualifying was testing for us. (Crew chiefs) Alan Johnson, Brian Husen and this Monster Energy team are pretty incredible to be able to come out and on the second run with this car go to No. 1. That’s amazing.”

Tuning guru Johnson speculated the atmospheric conditions in Baytown could be even better during Saturday’s two scheduled runs.  “The air is really good here,” Johnson said. “That’s a brand-new car, our third one of the year. We’re still in test mode. We’re going to keep chipping away at this thing.”

Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher sits second with a 3.711-second pass at 322.73, with native Texan Billy Torrence third.

Hagan sits atop the Funny Car category with a 1,000-foot run of 3.913-seconds at 308.78 mph in his Dodge Charger R/T. Hagan, who is Schumacher’s teammate at Don Schumacher Racing, is chasing his second pole of 2018 and 32nd of his career.

“Really happy with my guys right now,” said Hagan, a two-time world champion. “They laid down some great runs and the car has been phenomenal. I’m very confident in what they’re doing. It helps me as a driver to allow me to do what I need to do.”

Two-time/reigning world champion Robert Hight of John Force Racing sits second after a 3.921-second pass at 313.15 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro SS, while Jonnie Lindberg is third in his Toyota Camry.

Two rounds of afternoon qualifying are scheduled for Saturday, setting the 16-car fields for Sunday’s eliminations. FOX Sports 1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage beginning Sunday at 1 p.m. (EDT), followed by three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 p.m.

Friday’s provisional qualifying results after the first two of four rounds of time trials for the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations:

Top Fuel _1. Brittany Force, 3.701-seconds, 313.80 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.711, 322.73; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.737, 317.87; 4. Antron Brown, 3.740, 324.98; 5. Scott Palmer, 3.761, 316.08; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.772, 320.05; 7. Richie Crampton, 3.774, 316.23; 8. Terry McMillen, 3.849, 311.63; 9. Steve Torrence, 3.892, 313.88; 10. Bill Litton, 3.927, 306.60; 11. Leah Pritchett, 4.142, 204.60; 12. Terry Brian, 4.739, 284.62; 13. Mike Salinas, 4.944, 145.36; 14. Clay Millican, 5.092, 173.49; 15. Kebin Kinsley, 5.365, 148.17; 16. Terry Haddock, 7.362, 96.07.

Not Qualified _ 17. Terry Totten, 10.009, 53.67.

Funny Car _ 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.913, 308.78; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.921, 313.15; 3. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 3.927, 316.52; 4. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.951, 311.05; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.963, 299.53; 6. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.010, 313.37; 7. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.055, 305.29; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.065, 266.27; 9. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.151, 283.49; 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.157, 242.76; 11. Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.247, 226.89; 12. John Force, Camaro, 4.625, 222.29; 13. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.801, 180.67; 14. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.806, 147.31; 15. Richard Townsend, Camry, 4.876, 166.11; 16. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 5.210, 169.55.

Not Qualified _ 17. Jim Campbell, 8.750, 73.79; 18. Todd Simpson, 14.805, 62.31.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.492, 213.00; 2. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.504, 212.36; 3. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.507, 211.99; 4. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.513, 212.29; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.518, 211.99; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.525, 212.79; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.527, 212.29; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.528, 211.93; 9. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.530, 211.33; 10. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.532, 211.79; 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.532, 212.73; 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.545, 206.29; 13. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.548, 210.67; 14. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.592, 210.93; 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.621, 208.65; 16. Steve Graham, Camaro, 12.954, 66.69.

Jose Gonzalez powered into the provisional qualifying lead Friday during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service portion of the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Tige Boats, is the third of 12 events this season.

Gonzalez and his Chevrolet Camaro covered the quarter-mile in 5.69-seconds at 257.78 mph during the second session to take the provisional pole. “We actually made three changes before that run, but we never thought we had that much,” Gonzalez said. “This is just my second event here, so this actually feels really good. The competition is just so tough here anything can happen tomorrow now.”

Steve Jackson sits second with a 5.707-second pass at 249.03 mph and Mike Janis is third at 5.733 and 234.61 heading into Saturday aftenoon’s qualifying.

Friday’s provisional qualifying results after the first two of four rounds of NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series time trials for the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway:

Pro Modified _ 1. Jose Gonzalez, Chevy Camaro, 5.696, 257.78; 2. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.707, 249.53; 3. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.733, 248.61; 4. Chad Green, Chevy Corvette, 5.746, 250.23; 5. Jeremy Ray, Corvette, 5.761, 248.66; 6. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.768, 251.58; 7. Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.774, 248.16; 8. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.784, 255.97; 9. Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 5.788, 247.97; 10. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.796, 251.02; 11. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 5.815, 253.09; 12. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.825, 249.12; 13. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.855, 212.36; 14. Erica Enders, Camaro, 5.866, 240.81; 15. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.867, 252.38; 16. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 5.892, 247.16.

Not Qualified _ 17. Steve Matusek, 5.927, 217.46; 18. Chuck Little, 5.929, 240.00; 19. Rick Hord, 5.956, 241.41; 20. Chip King, 5.963, 244.69; 21. Clint Satterfield, 5.976, 242.76; 22. Doug Winters, 6.018, 242.98; 23. Pete Farber, 6.090, 190.19; 24. Harry Hruska, 6.481, 237.96; 25. Bob Rahaim, 7.940, 121.39; 26. Danny Rowe, 8.199, 115.78; 27.Brandon Snider, 8.789, 108.79; 28. Dan Stevenson, 9.410, 98.54. 

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 21 2018
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